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Stirrup Spout Vessel: Seated Blind Man

450-600 CE
Precolumbian
7 11/16 x 3 3/4 x 6 7/8 in. (19.6 x 9.5 x 17.5 cm)

Unknown, Moche
Peruvian

Object Type: Ceramics
Medium and Support: Terracotta, pigment
Credit Line: R.T. Miller Fund
Accession Number: 1944.65
Location: Currently on view
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The Moche were keen observers of humanity as evidenced by the wide variety of subjects treated in their ceramics. Although they often based their designs on realistic images and scenes from daily life, these vessels probably had religious and symbolic significance. Here, a portrait of a blind man may allude to both a specific individual and the shamanic practice of using senses beyond sight to determine meaning. This figure is seated and wears a sash that passes through the stirrup spout of another vessel.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

Provenance
Mrs. Olga Epstein, Vienna and Lima, Peru, ca. 1906-1909; to her brother, L. C. Collins, New York; purchased from him by the Gallery in 1944 through the Paul Drey Gallery, New York (dealer)

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